A Rural Enterprise
Barker’s has been on the corner of the original family farm since its beginnings and we continue to respect, foster and grow our business with the land around us.The old home, now office space, still has the distinct vibe of a family home. The ‘sun porch’ is now a meeting room and aptly named in its honour. The original kitchen, which until very recently housed pull-out flour bins and an old Agar stove, is a staff kitchen. The tree swing still hangs in the back garden beneath the big oak, as it did decades ago.
Establishing and growing a business in a rural location such as ours offers challenges. With 230+ staff, a busy head office and factory, we can’t escape the reality of being far removed from services that one would take for granted. Our challenges due to our rural location include: limited electricity to the valley; no town supply water; no mains sewage; no street side rubbish collection; resource consent limitations for everyday operations and … snow. Until 2014 we were still working with dial-up internet speeds until fibre was installed.
Far from running a country mile (never mind the pun) and setting up the factory in a more accessible part of New Zealand, we embrace our rural location and our nearest hometown of Geraldine, and work smart to be resourceful and efficient. Innovation runs in our DNA and we’re proud of the initiatives we take as everyday good practice.
- Fresh spring water is drawn from an onsite well that is fed from underground aquifers where it is filtered, monitored and measured to world-class standards.
- Our waste water ponds, which treat and filter our grey water, is irrigated back onto our paddocks.
- Factory food waste is stored and distributed to local piggeries for feed; and to farmers for compost.
- Onsite recycling is prioritised with colour coded bins in all offices and common areas.
- Old lighting is replaced with LEDs for electricity efficiency and conservation.
Far from being satisfied that our existing sustainable processes are ‘enough’ we look to progress how better we, as a business, can deliver both corporate and social responsibilities here on the farm.